Saturday, November 5

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The Perfect Stride

On champ-turned-coach Alberto Salazar and the New York City Marathon.

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What Happened to Etan Patz

The father of the first kid featured on a milk carton thinks he knows who kidnapped the him 30 years ago:

For years now, Stan has had a face to concentrate on; twice a year, in fact, on Etan’s birthday and on the anniversary of his disappearance, Stan sends one of the old lost child posters to a man who’s already in prison. He won’t be there much longer, however, unless the successor to Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau can keep him in jail. In the meantime, Stan’s packages serve notice that someone is still paying close attention. On the back of the poster, he always writes the same thing: “What did you do to my little boy?”

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Pipe Dreaming

Considering the screen saver.

Even when napping, the computer seems beset by iterative nightmares of a deadline. The pipes come to represent, rather than imaginarily suspend, the clogging of the task queue when one is away. When the screen has become as dense as Celtic knot-work, the entire image cracks and dissipates, as if burned out from its involute frenzy—before beginning again in the dark.

Friday, November 4

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Lex Luger Can Write a Hit Rap Song in the Time It Takes to Read This

A few years ago, before anyone knew his name, before rap artists from all over the country started hitting him up for music, the rap producer Lex Luger, born Lexus Lewis, now age 20, sat down in his dad’s kitchen in Suffolk, Va., opened a sound-mixing program called Fruity Loops on his laptop and created a new track... Months later, Luger — who says he was “broke as a joke” by that point, about to become a father for the second time and seriously considering taking a job stocking boxes in a warehouse — heard that same beat on the radio, transformed into a Waka song called “Hard in da Paint.” Before long, he couldn’t get away from it.
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Inside Scientology

A journey into the controversial religion:
In the next hour or so, Laurie asks me a number of questions: Am I married? Am I happy? What are my goals? Do I feel that I’m living up to my potential? A failure to live up to potential is one of the things known in Scientology as one’s "ruin." In trying to get at mine, Laurie is warm and nonaggressive. And, to my amazement, I begin to open up to her. While we chat, she delivers a soft sell for Scientology’s "introductory package": a four-hour seminar and twelve hours of Dianetics auditing, which is done without the E-meter. The cost: just fifty dollars. "You don’t have to do it," Laurie says. "It’s just something I get the feeling might help you." She pats my arm, squeezes it warmly.
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The Ally From Hell

Inside the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan:

The U.S. government has lied to itself, and to its citizens, about the nature and actions of successive Pakistani governments. Pakistani behavior over the past 20 years has rendered the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism effectively meaningless.

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Missing White Female

The disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the clash of cultures that followed.

Thursday, November 3

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The Trials of Bidder 70

A profile of environmental activist Tim DeChristopher.

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Confessions of a Car Salesman

An investigative reporter goes undercover at a dealership to learn the tricks of the trade, of which there are many.

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Her Own Flesh and Blood

A family of Georgia churchgoers contracted the plague of their time, HIV. Some survived, some didn’t—this is the story of their family over thirty years.

Wednesday, November 2

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Mondo Cavalli

A profile of fashion designer Roberto Cavalli.
It’s 11 a.m. Cavalli has just risen from his wolf-fur-covered bed and said good morning to Boy, his tiger-striped Bengal cat, and Gino, his miniature monkey. At a breakfast table covered with a cloth of one of his swirling bird patterns, on which are placed four packs of cigarettes and two cigars, Cavalli sinks down on a leopard-print cushion. While he eats applesauce and drinks orange juice from Cavalli tableware, he is surrounded by his four parrots and three beautiful publicists. “Give me some bad questions,” he tells me, lighting a cigar. “I will try to be nice.”
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The Shadow Superpower

The world’s fastest growing economy isn’t China; it’s the “unheralded alternative economic universe of System D” aka the $10 trillion global black market.